Tech giant Apple wants to shake the world of streaming TV to the core with the launch of a long-awaited new service.
The company plans to switch on Apple TV Plus in 100 countries before the end of 2019.
This may sound like old news because Apple has dabbled in television for a decade with Apple TV, but this is the first time users have had a firm date for the start of the service.
Another first is Apple has plans to take on Netflix, Amazon and terrestrial TV to produce in-house programmes.
A-Listers Jennifer Aniston, Reece Witherspoon, Oprah Winfrey and Steven Spielberg have all signed up to produce content for the service.
Streaming TV service rivals Netflix
“Apple TV Plus is the new home for the world’s most creative storytellers featuring exclusive original shows, movies and documentaries,” said the announcement.
Apple is ready to spend $2 billion on content . Apple TV Plus will be ad-free, but the cost to tune in is still under wraps.
Access will be through a TV app on Apple phones, tablets and computers plus other platforms like Roku, Fire TV and standalone televisions. It’s unclear if Apple TV Plus will extend to Windows or Android devices.
Apple has some serious ground to gain over main rivals Netflix, which has nearly 140 million subscribers and a budget of billions to spend on streaming content.
Elsewhere in Appleworld, the company is launching a credit card that comes in a digital format and as a titanium card engraved with your name.
Apple Credit Card on the way
The card is backed by MasterCard and accepted at thousands of on and off line outlets around the world.
Apple will offer between 1% cash back on purchases, depending on how the card is used.
The company says the launch will be the biggest change in how credit cards are used in the past 50 years.
Lastly, more mundane Apple business behind the razzmatazz almost slipped by unnoticed.
The company has released an iOS 12.2 update with fixes for 51 security vulnerabilities, while the MacOS Mojave 10.14.4 update covers another 38 vulnerabilities.
The flaws include several serious patches for the Safari web browser.